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Nearly synonymous with Tokyo and its suburban sprawl, the region of Kanto encompasses many historical sites, hot springs, semitropical islands, and picturesque mountains. Predictably, most tours of Kanto begin and end in Tokyo, which serves as an ideal base for day trips to nearby national parks, ancient temples, and grand monuments reminding visitors of Japan's shogun era. During feudal times, Kanto reigned as the center of political and military power; today, the area represents one of the country's tourism hubs. As you plan your Kanto itinerary, be sure to include a stop in Kamakura, a small temple town filled with notable cultural treasures. Use our Japan itinerary planner to plan your trip to Kanto and other destinations in Japan.Read the Kanto Holiday Planning Guide »
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©Meiji Jingu, Shibuya
©Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden, Shinjuku
©Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings, Shinjuku
©Tokyo Tower, Minato
©The Tsukiji Market, Chuo
©Tokyo National Museum, Taito
©Edo-Tokyo Museum, Sumida
©Imperial Palace, Chiyoda
©Tokyo Skytree, Sumida
©Tokyo Disneyland, Urayasu
©The Hakone Open-Air Museum, Hakone-machi
©Ueno Park, Taito
©Ghibli Museum, Mitaka
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Top tours for Kanto
3-Day Kyoto and Hiroshima Independent Tour by Nozomi Bullet Train from Tokyo BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM US$ 389
3-Day Private Tokyo and Nagano Tour: Snow Monkeys, Tsukiji Market and Bullet Train BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM US$ 934
Private Tour: 4-Day Best of Tokyo and Kyoto Including Tsukiji Market, Gion and Fushimi Inari Shrine BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM US$ 1,176
Best things to do in Kanto
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Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
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Kanto Holiday Planning GuideNearly synonymous with Tokyo and its suburban sprawl, the region of Kanto encompasses many historical sites, hot springs, semitropical islands, and picturesque mountains. Predictably, most tours of Kanto begin and end in Tokyo, which serves as an ideal base for day trips to nearby national parks, ancient temples, and grand monuments reminding visitors of Japan's shogun era. During feudal times, Kanto reigned as the center of political and military power; today, the area represents one of the country's tourism hubs. As you plan your Kanto itinerary, be sure to include a stop in Kamakura, a small temple town filled with notable cultural treasures.
Places to Visit in Kanto
Cities in KantoTokyo: A city that takes pride in its ancient heritage and constant innovation, Japan's sprawling capital is a mixture of tradition and hypermodernity, accompanied by vibrant cultural, nightlife, and dining scenes.
Kamakura: Although small, Japan's first feudal capital possesses a wealth of historic sites, ancient temples, and picturesque beaches, making it an ideal stopover on a tour of Kanto.
Urayasu: Modern Urayasu, restored after experiencing extensive damage in World War II, is now famous for being the home of Tokyo's Disney theme park, one of the most popular Kanto tourist attractions.
Hakone-machi: Traditional onsen hot springs dot the mountainous landscape of this small town, nestled in the foothills of the majestic Mount Fuji.
Yokohama: A cosmopolitan city, Yokohama appeals to visitors with its buzzing arts and culinary scenes, proximity to Tokyo, and its rich history as a vital trading port.
Popular Kanto Tourist AttractionsTokyo Tower: One of the most recognizable landmarks in Tokyo, this 333 m (1,092 ft) tall tower provides stunning vistas of Japan's capital city.
Tokyo Skytree: Boasting a 360-degree glass observation deck equipped with a cafe and restaurant, the towering Tokyo Skytree offers expansive panoramic views of the city.
Sensō-ji: The oldest and most visited shrine in Tokyo, this Buddhist temple complex is known for its imposing and ornate gates, as well as its five-story pagoda.
Tokyo Disneyland: The massive theme park is usually crowded with visitors looking to enjoy the rides, live shows, and other attractions based on the wildly popular Disney animated films.
Meiji Jingu: This popular shrine, dedicated to the first emperor of modern Japan and his consort, boasts a popular museum, a treasure house, and a peaceful setting in a verdant forested area.
Tokyo DisneySea: The nautical-theme counterpart to Tokyo Disneyland is divided into seven "ports," which feature a variety of rides, attractions, and restaurants.
The Tsukiji Market: This wholesale fish market, a renowned Kanto tourist attraction, is world famous for its morning tuna auctions that draw flocks of restaurateurs and curious onlookers.
Yokohama Chinatown: Yokohama's Chinese district, the largest of its kind in Japan, houses an assortment of Chinese shops, restaurants, and street food stalls.
Nikkō Tōshō-gū: Part of the World Heritage Site "Shrines and Temples of Nikko," this ornately decorated Shinto temple is home to the sacred burial place of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate.
Kōtoku-in: Constructed in 1252 and standing at an imposing 13.3 m (43.8 ft), the bronze statue of the Amida Buddha watches over the grounds of the Kotoku-in temple.
Planning a Kanto Vacation with Kids
Places to Visit in Kanto with KidsKanto is perfectly suited for a family vacation as the region, like most of Japan, is notable for its safety, hygiene, and numerous kid-friendly attractions.
More than any other destination, Tokyo reveals a treasure trove of amusement parks, arcades, interesting museums, and vast shopping malls.
Step just an hour outside of the capital and you can enjoy the forested trails and peaceful shrines of Kamakura.
Head to the pleasant city of Shimoda on the Izu peninsula to take advantage of its scenic beaches and relaxing hot spring resorts.
Add other larger cities like Yokohama to your Kanto itinerary for even more parks, restaurants, historic sights, and other fun activities for the whole family.
Things to Do in Kanto with KidsYou shouldn't have much trouble keeping the kids entertained on a trip to Kanto, as the region boasts an abundance of attractions suitable for children, from zoos and aquariums, to vast parks and play areas.
Amusement parks are plentiful in Kanto and include such favorites as Sea Paradise and Tokyo Disneyland.
Head to the man-made island of Odaiba to check restaurants and shopping malls, or have a family picnic in the park.
Interactive museums like Miraikan and Edo Wonderland can be a fun and educational way to spend a few hours with the kids.
Tips for a Family Vacation in KantoMuch like the rest of Japan, Kanto region is known for being safe, clean, and welcoming to children.
That said, if you're planning a vacation in Kanto with an infant or toddler, the crowded streets and busy public transport of some of the larger cities might be hard to navigate. You should avoid using a large stroller and opt for an umbrella version or a carrier instead.
Most, if not all restrooms are equipped with changing tables, and hotels often provide cribs for babies.
Dining joints, with the exception of family restaurants, usually don't have high chairs, so keep that in mind if you're planning on eating out with a toddler.
Breastfeeding in public, although uncommon, is generally accepted, but local women usually use some kind of fabric to cover themselves.
While baby food is ubiquitous, your best bet for formula or disposable diapers is a large drugstore or baby store chain.
If you're looking to rent a car for your trip to Kanto, remember to request a child seat ahead of time.
Dining and Shopping on Holiday in Kanto
Cuisine of KantoDiverse and flavorful, the cuisine of Kanto is known for its many uses of fish and other seafood products.
Like everywhere in Japan, ingredients such as rice, soy beans, seasonal vegetables, and miso are traditional staples, but specialties vary by region.
A vacation in Kanto is a perfect opportunity to sample the numerous varieties of sushi, created in 19th-century Tokyo.
Other local delicacies include Tokyo's "monja-yaki," a type of runny pancake eaten straight off the grill, and "namerou," a Chiba specialty made out of several types of fish seasoned with plenty of leeks and ginger.
Monja-yaki enjoys enormous popularity in Tokyo, where there's even a street dedicated mostly to restaurants that serve the dish.
Shopping in KantoA holiday in Kanto represents a great opportunity for shopping sprees and stocking up on gifts or souvenirs.
Large cities, such as Tokyo and Yokohama, abound with malls, stores, gift shops, marketplaces, and numerous other retail options that fill up whole streets dedicated to shopping.
Local handicrafts and traditional items make for excellent gifts and are ubiquitous in stores all over Kanto. Some of the more popular options include Japanese hand fans, multi-use "tenugui" towels, replicas of samurai swords, porcelain items, and prints of traditional Japanese art.
Authentic clothing and apparel, such as cotton "yukata" kimonos and "geta" wooden sandals, can also be potential keepsakes from your travels.
The sheer diversity of Japanese sweets and savory snacks make them popular gift ideas. Browsing markets and specialty stores, you can check out local chocolates, instant ramen noodles, varieties of "sake" liquor, or limited edition kit-kat flavors.
Know Before You Go on a Trip to Kanto
Interesting Facts About Kanto● Kanto is home to the Tokyo Metropolitan Area, the most populous metropolitan area in the world
● The region is known as the economic and commercial hub of Japan
● Kanto is home to both the largest and the second largest city in Japan
Holidays & Festivals in KantoNumerous festivals are observed every year in Kanto, ranging from nationwide holidays to shrine-based "matsuri" celebrations.
Elaborate New Year's festivities mark the beginning of the year, while April brings the Cherry Blossom festivals to shrines and parks all over the region.
If you're planning a tour of Kanto in July, you can participate in the countrywide Floating Lantern Festival.
The popular shrine festivals are usually marked by lively parades, processions, competitions, and live entertainment. Notable examples include Sanja Matsuri, held at Asakusa Shrine in May, and Kanamara Matsuri or the "Festival of the Steel Phallus," observed annually in Kawasaki.
Useful Kanto Travel Tips
Climate of KantoThe climate of Kanto is synonymous with that of Tokyo, although places with higher altitude generally have lower temperature averages.
Summers are usually very hot and humid, especially August, which is marked by occurrences of typhoons and temperatures from 20-30 C (70-86 F).
Winters, from January to March, are much drier and cooler, with temperatures averaging 0-14 C (32-57 F). Snowfall, although scarce, happens almost every year.
Springtime brings the ideal weather for a vacation in Kanto, as the months of April, May, and June feature pleasant temperatures, usually from 10-26 C (50-79 F), and the blossoming of the cherry trees.
Transportation in KantoThe Tokyo Metropolitan Area boasts the world's most expansive urban railway, while the high-speed bullet trains connect the larger cities in the area.
The extensive networks of buses, trains, and subway lines, known for their punctuality, can ease the planning of a Kanto itinerary.
A wide range of taxi agencies operate in the cities and are especially useful for those in a hurry or traveling after midnight.
Ferries can be a convenient mode of transportation for getting across Tokyo Bay.